College community honored at annual awards ceremony

Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, presented more than 180 awards to individual students, student organizations, and faculty members and staff during the college's 48th Annual Honors and Awards Convocation. Student Affairs coordinates this annual effort to recognize members of the Penn State Behrend community for their outstanding efforts in student life, athletics, academics, and special service to the college.

Faculty and staff members, including Dr. Jack Burke, chancellor, Dr. Robert Light, senior associate dean for research, graduate studies and outreach, Dr. David Christiansen, associate dean for undergraduate studies and academic administration, and Dr. Ken Miller, director of Student Affairs, presented recipients with their awards.

Two student leaders served as the event's featured speakers. Erin Kennedy, a senior from Ellwood City, Pa., and president of Penn State Behrend's Student Government Association, gave the ceremony’s welcoming remarks. Robert Scalise, a sophomore from Warren, Pa., and president of Lambda Sigma Honor Society, offered closing remarks.


Most Outstanding Student Organization Officer: Samantha C. Yong

Most Outstanding Student Organization Member: Raymond P. Wolkan

Most Outstanding Student Organization President: Syed Ammar Hussain and Debra D. Workman

Best Student Organization Advisor: Lindsey M. Hopkins Hall, coordinator of student involvement and fraternity and sorority life

Best Student Organization: The Behrend Beacon

Most Creative Program: Flash Back Fridays

Student Activities Leadership Award: Molly B. Thomas

Guy W. Wilson Award for Student Service to the College: Bradley C. Kovalcik

Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Service Award: Adell E. Coleman

Penn State Behrend Alumni Society Leadership Award: Adell E. Coleman

Irvin H. Kochel Lion Ambassador Award: Lauren K. Glacken and Brandon C. McGraw

Outstanding Greek Chapter Award: Alpha Sigma Tau Sorority

Student Government Association President’s Award: Bradley C. Kovalcik

USA Today Student Leadership Award: Molly B. Thomas and Eliska Repkova

Rose Cologne Keystone Citizen Award: Diana R. Tinlin

Eclipse Award: Danielle J. Wilson

Outstanding Adult Learner: Kristin L. McQueeney

General Anthony Wayne Excellence in Leadership Award: Elizabeth A. Pascuzzi (First Year) and Christopher Harpster (Second Year)


Female Intramural Award: Amy Lawrence

Male Intramural Award: Herbert Brittner

Cheryl Ramsdell-Anderson Female Athlete of the Year Award: Julia M. Koman

James Frye Male Athlete of the Year Award: David L. Koerbel

John Zahniser Female Scholar-Athlete Award: Natalie J. Engel

John Zahniser Male Scholar-Athlete Award: David R. Miller


The Penn State Behrend Writing Awards: Zhiyao Ding and Matthew J. Heid (First Year), Ryan D. Scanlon (Engineering), Cathryn E. Buonocore (Humanities), and Todd J. Eckroat (Science)

Outstanding Tutor Award: Ryan C. Williams (Engineering), Jessica C. Friday (Mathematics), Allison M. Maino (Other Subjects), and Katherine E. Knight (Writing)

Division of Undergraduate Studies: Patrick J. St Andrews (First Year), Ashley N. MacArthur (Sophomore)


Academic Excellence in Nursing: Lisa M. Miller

Excellence in Professional Nursing and Caring: Debra A. Turk and Tonya D. Tuszynski


Accounting: Thomas C. Edwards (PICPA) and Amy L. Gevin (IMA)

Business, Liberal Arts, and Science: Nicholas T. Zbrzeznj

Economics: Kelly J. Houghton

Business Economics: William P. McAndrew

Finance: Brian C. Hammel

International Business: Michael J. Halapy

Management: Kristin J. Wisniewski

Management Information Systems: Jarrod L. Bradbury

Marketing: Kevin L. Brown

Master of Business Administration: Jennifer M. Fox

Delta Sigma Pi Scholarship Key: Thomas C. Edwards and Nicholas T. Zbrzeznj

Kenneth L. and Julie M. Spencer Award: Theresa M. Farrell and Justin E. Kowatch

Wall Street Journal Student Achievement: Michael D. Meabon


Corey N. Farrell Nonfiction Award: Kristy A. McCoy

Kennedy Fiction Award: Kalie C. Weigle

The Kenneth Jonathan Sonnenberg Poetry Award: Kalie C. Weigle

Outstanding Achievement in Communication and Media Studies: Raechul M. Bowser and Lauren M. Kennedy

Outstanding Creative Writing Major: Sierra E. Baril

Outstanding English Major in Professional Writing: Katherine E. Knight

Outstanding History Major: Frank E. Rand

Outstanding Political Science Major: Christopher M. Brown

Outstanding Psychology Student: James J. Hodge and Jessica R. Schubert

Outstanding Scholarly Achievement in Psychology: Amanda N. Tyler


Academic Excellence in Biology: Todd J. Eckroat and Natalie J. Engel

Academic Excellence in Chemistry: Todd J. Eckroat and Heather L. Sopher

Outstanding Freshman in Chemistry/American Chemical Society: Emily A. McIntyre

CRC/Outstanding Freshman: Brian M. Carlson

Academic Excellence in Computer Science: Matthew W. Ohler and Joseph A. Synowka (Senior) and Bridget M. Gutting (Sophomore)

Mathematics Competition: Landon M. Chambers, Elliott J. Epstein and Charles F. Nelatury

Academic Excellence in Mathematics: Benjamin H. Wilson

Academic Excellence in Physics: Arthur G. Russakoff


Computer Engineering: Cody M. Griffin

Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology: Brett R. Badowski

Electrical Engineering: Patrick M. Combes

Mechanical Engineering: Benjamin R. Wigg

Mechanical Engineering Technology: Jack C. Smail

Plastics Engineering Technology: John M. Kraynik

Software Engineering: Andrew P. Keen

Jake Boyle Memorial Award: Dustin M. Dubensky


The Penn State Behrend Honors Program Award is given to students who completed at least nine honors credits while maintaining a minimum 3.2 grade-point average each semester through their sophomore year: Ahmed E. Abdalla, James S. Ahloy, Molly A. Bonavita, Brooke E. Callen, Bridget G. Cheng, Christina N. Craig, John C. Curtin, Andrew P. Double, Caitlyn A. Elser, Jacob C. Fling, Jenna L. Floro, Jesse L. Gadley, Melinda N. Geibel, Alyssa M. Gleichsner, Jesse R. Glenn, Steven J. Gresh, Eric M. Gustafson, Bridget M. Gutting, Katherine R. Halapy, Jarrett J. Hawrylak, Daniel P. Hido, Tyson S. Himes, Erik J. Johnson, Alexandra M. Johnston, Nicolas T. Kniseley, Evan M. Koser, Andrew E. Kountz, Britta M. Landfried, Michael D. Long, Kyle R. McMichael, Steven M. Monnie, Seth R. Neckers, Brianne N. Palmer, Nicole L. Payne, Brent W. Plansinis, Lisa R. Puhak, Craig W. Richards, Justin P. Schmader, Jenna L. Sellitto, Merve Sengular, Braden M. Shaffer, Sarah M. Sharrer, Leah E. Stipanovic, Nathan J. Sydlik, Joni M. Taylor, Kelly C. Thill, Yan Tong, Patrick T. Troester, Heather L. Wager, Kylee J. Weaver, Debra D. Wheeler, Nicholas F. Winarski, and Kayla M. Wright.

The President’s Freshman Award is presented to full-time undergraduate students who earned a perfect 4.0 cumulative grade-point average in the first semester of the freshman year: Jared I. Bean, Eric A. Botts, Jean M. Delinski, Whitney S. Dewey, Matthew S. Florian, Davis J. Gigogne, Matthew J. Heid, Sarah E. Magrini, Joseph E. Paterniti, Patrick J. St Andrews, Tayler K. Stanley, Jennifer Villarroel Vargas, and Michael R. Way.

The President Sparks Award is presented annually to those undergraduate degree candidates who have earned a 4.0 cumulative grade-point average based on at least 36 graded Penn State credits completed by the end of the fall semester of the academic year in which the award is given: Teresa S. Guerrein, Zachary F. Herd, Alexandra M. Johnston, Nancy A. Loker, Ashley N. MacArthur, Amy C. Platz, and Justin P. Schmader.

The Evan Pugh Scholar Award honors those juniors and seniors who were in the upper 0.5 percent of their respective class at the end of the fall semester of each academic year. Sascha C. Asher, Christine M. Giuliano and Tyler M. Schmidt were this year’s junior recipients. Thomas C. Edwards, Eliska Repkova and Nicholas T. Zbrzeznj were the senior recipients.

The Council of Fellows Undergraduate Student Research Award was presented to James J. Hodge and Jessica R. Schubert.


Debra D. Workman earned the Christopher M. Geitner Award, which is presented to a Penn State Behrend student who demonstrates the extraordinary characteristics of leadership and civility as exemplified by Christopher M. Geitner. Geitner’s friends and family established this award to recognize the accomplishments of current Penn State Behrend students.

Julie A. Elkins was presented with the Ralph Dorn Hetzel Memorial Award. This award recognizes the achievements and potential of an outstanding undergraduate student who has demonstrated the qualities of responsible leadership during his or her college careers and gives promise of public spirited achievement in the future.

Joseph E. Paterniti received the Outstanding First-Year Student award, which recognizes a first-year student who demonstrates outstanding promise of character, scholarship, leadership and citizenship through achievements in the first year of study.

Justin P. Schmader was presented with the Irvin H. Kochel Award. This award is presented annually to an undergraduate student who demonstrates outstanding qualities of character, scholarship, leadership and citizenship through their involvement in programs and services that positively influence fellow students and have contributed to the Penn State Behrend community.

The Thomas H. Turnbull Award, which lists outstanding service as its most important criterion, was presented to Eliska Repkova. This award is presented annually to a Penn State Behrend student who has contributed to the college community through outstanding qualities of character, scholarship, leadership and citizenship.

Brittany R. Barbato received the T. Reed Ferguson Award, which recognizes a junior who has demonstrated scholarship, leadership and citizenship that has impacted fellow students through academic and out-of-class involvement and gives promise of further achievement in the senior year.

Julie A. Elkins earned the Eric A. and Josephine S. Walker Award in recognition of outstanding qualities of character, scholarship, leadership and citizenship that have been directed into student programs and services. Scholarship is a primary criterion along with a record of outstanding service to the college.

Jane D. Brady, assistant director of Admissions and Financial Aid, is the recipient of this year’s Benjamin A. Lane Outstanding Service Award. This award honors a faculty or staff member who has demonstrated outstanding service and dedication to Penn State Behrend as exemplified by the unparalleled devotion of Benjamin A. Lane, associate professor of English emeritus.

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Last Updated May 08, 2009